THE government of Johor is committed to helping the Indian community in the state, but everyone must be united regardless of political affiliation, says an executive councilor in Johor.
Chairman of the National Tourism, Environment, Heritage and Culture Committee, K. Raven Kumar, said that in addition to having a state executive adviser for Indian affairs, Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi also appointed two other community representatives.
“We are committed to seeking to help the community, particularly in the areas of welfare, education and religious activities.
“However, everyone must be united and work together to find ways to improve the community,” he said, after the launch of the 72nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Johor Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (JICCI) in Johor Baru.
Raven, who is also the National Youth Leader of MIC, said some of the issues affecting the community are now the same as her late father, Johor MIC Vice President S. Krishnasamy, dealt with 30 years ago. year.
“We have to find a solution, otherwise the same problems will persist for the next 30 years.
“An example is that we have over 9,000 registered Hindu temples in Johor.
“We need to have better planned prayers instead of building more temples,” he said, adding that many of these places of worship needed government help.
Raven said there should be a model for temples to be self-sustaining instead of waiting for government grants.
Regarding the need to rename Yayasan Sultanah Rogayah or for the government to set up the Indian special task force announced by the previous mentri besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad, Raven said Onn Hafiz would look into the matter.
“We will have to refine and look long term.
“Last year alone, Yayasan Sultanah Rogayah received 11,000 applications from the Indian community and has so far disbursed aid to over 8,000 people,” he said, adding that the disbursed amounts ranged from RM350 and RM3,000 each.
In the 2022 state budget, RM5 million had been allocated to the Indian community through Yayasan Sultanah Rogayah and RM7 million to the Chinese community through Yayasan Sultanah Fatimah.
Meanwhile, JICCI Secretary General Datuk K. Krishnan said they have decided to invite 15 other India-based non-governmental organizations to the state to attend the AGM this year.
“We hope to brainstorm and come up with ideas for an Indian master plan to be presented to the government in the future.
“It is time for all of us to come together and plan long-term solutions for the state community,” he said, adding that JICCI passed three major resolutions at the meeting, including the need for a reform involving the function of Yayasan Sultanah Rogayah in accordance with its fundamental objectives to integrate various expertise and initiate multiple funding sources such as Yayasan Pelajaran Johor.
Other resolutions included urging the government of Johor to enlighten people on the concept of an Indian task force and its modus operandi; urging the state to coordinate with federal authorities to expedite approvals to hire foreign workers in all sectors; and consider providing additional financial assistance to micro and small enterprises.
During the AGM, a Memorandum of Understanding on the “Niagadigital Kmunity JICCI – Online Shop” program was also signed between the chambers and eBayar Sdn Bhd.